How to Build an Aquarium Canopy or Hood

Written by jyoti jennings
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How to Build an Aquarium Canopy or Hood
An aquarium canopy will make it safer for your fish. (aquarium fish 8 image by cherie from

A tank of colourful fish is a wonderful addition to any room, but a crumbling or dingy aquarium canopy can ruin the whole effect. Leaving the canopy off is also not an option because it invites trouble. Items can fall into the tank and this may even injure the fish inside the tank. To add your own personal flair, you can make your own hood out of wood.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sheet of 3/4-inch board
  • Sheet of 5/8-inch board
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Box of small nails
  • Wood glue
  • 3 small hinge sets
  • Aquarium lights
  • White paint
  • Moulding or weatherstripping

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  1. 1

    Measure the aquarium and cut four pieces of 3/4-inch board so that when assembled they will conform around the sides of the aquarium top while leaving about a 3/4-inch gap on all sides. They should be about 5 inches in width.

  2. 2

    Using a combination of wood glue and nails to secure everything, build the rectangular box sides of the canopy out of these four pieces. Attach the first three (the two short pieces and one of the longer pieces) together end to end so that their flat surfaces are against the glass of the aquarium. The last long piece will be different. On the open fourth side, nail it to the others so that the board is lying on top of the aquarium and over the water. This is so there is a free space on that side for hoses and filter equipment to pass through.

  3. 3

    Cut a piece of 5/8-inch board which will fit as a lid over the top of the aquarium and the tops of the "side box" you just built.

  4. 4

    Attach the lid using the three hinges to the horizontally positioned board on the fourth side of the box (the one over the water and where the air hoses are supposed to pass through). Place the hinges at equal lengths from each other so that two hinges are near the end of the sides and one is in the middle.

  5. 5

    Cut four pieces of wood from the 3/4-inch sheet which are all approximately 1 inch in width and 6 inches long. Glue these near the centre of all four sides of the canopy on the inside. This means they will be between the glass and wood box sides of the canopy acting as stabilisers.

  6. 6

    Paint the inside of the box and lid white for maximum reflection. Secure aquarium lights inside, attached to the underside of the lid. Put moulding around the edges of the lid for a good seal. The canopy is now ready to place over the top of the aquarium.

Tips and warnings

  • Decorate and paint the outside of the box according to your own style or to match the rest of the room.
  • The fit of the canopy is key, so measure your aquarium very carefully before you cut the boards and assemble the canopy.

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